International Journal for Muslim World Studies (IJMWS)

Formerly known as International Journal of Muslim Unity (IJMU)

Reflecting on Democratic Values and Principles of Governance in Islam: Accord or Conflict

Reflecting on Democratic Values and Principles of Governance in Islam: Accord or Conflict

Alhagi Manta Drammeh *


The debate about exploring the relationship between values of polity in Islam and democratic values is intriguing and it is even more intriguing and complex when the discussion is about the relationship between Islam and democracy. Some would say that the argument for this is because you cannot compare Islam as a religion and democracy as a human understanding of power relations. Thus, the paper is not an attempt to do such a comparison from that narrow prism, rather it will be focused on highlighting principles enshrined in the Qur‘ān and the Prophetic tradition in order to protect not only religion but also human dignity, human freedom, human intellect and how prosperity and peace are brought about. This paper is therefore relevant within the context of contemporary debates around the world media outlets, journalistic commentaries and some academic journals about whether or not Islam is antithetical to freedom, plurality, social justice and legal rationality, as may be propounded by theorists of endsim of history and the inevitable clash of civilisations. It will also examine whether or not egalitarian distribution of wealth, civil society freedom and are contradictory to Islamic worldview. Thus, it is important to examine, in light of political history of Islam, standards that are core components of governance like political pluralism, allowing difference and even dissent. To my mind, discourse on democracy revolves around issues of plurality, diversity, social justice and individual rights.